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Ronning on C at Traverse City:It's a Big Honor

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

TRAVERSE CITY, MI - Ty Ronning takes pride in his team leadership, whether it's with his actions or his words on the ice.

And the team he'll be leading this week is the Rangers' prospect squad at the Traverse City tournament, which he'll be captaining beginning tonight against Chicago.

"I think it's awesome. It's a big honor to throw on the jersey, the Rangers colors, and wear the C," Ronning said. "I'm proud of myself and very honored. I've got to lead by example and work my butt off."

"I know a lot of guys on this team are leaders," he continued. "For myself, I think I talk a lot on the ice. Maybe that's one of the reasons why [I was named captain]. I just try and lead by example and I think I'm a team-first guy. I'm very excited."

First-round pick Lias Andersson and free agent defenseman Vince Pedrie will serve as alternate captains.

Former captains at the tournament include Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei.

The 2016 seventh-round pick is no stranger to being relied on in a leadership role, as he's served as an alternate for the past two seasons with Vancouver of the Western Hockey League.

Ronning is expected to play right wing on the team's top line with Andersson and winger Ryan Gropp. Ronning said each member of the line brings something different to the table.

"Groppy is a shooter that can make smart plays with the puck," he said. "I think Lias is a player that is very fast-paced and knows where the puck is going to be at the right time. For myself, it's about getting open and putting the puck in the back of the net if it's there. 

"They're good hockey players," the 19-year-old added. "Lias likes to hit, which is awesome, and Gropper likes to put the puck in the net and I think we're a skilled line and we work our butts off. We're going to have some fun tonight."

Ronning, who was a member of last year's Traverse City roster, said he's excited for this year's group, which he feels is good enough to take the tournament.

"We've got some good players. We've got some good goaltending and we're really excited," he said. "We got a chance here to win this thing and that's what we're looking to do. We've just got to go out and perform and showcase our stuff."

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